pri·​or·​i·​ty | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio) , -ˈär- \
plural priorities

Definition of priority

1a(1) : the quality or state of being prior
(2) : precedence in date or position of publication used of taxa
b(1) : superiority in rank, position, or privilege
(2) : legal precedence in exercise of rights over the same subject matter
2 : a preferential rating especially : one that allocates rights to goods and services usually in limited supply that project has top priority
3 : something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives

Synonyms for priority


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Examples of priority in a Sentence

Reorganizing the sales force will be a top priority for the new president. Getting the work done on time is a priority for me. She decided to go to the party instead of studying? Where are her priorities? I know you want to buy a new stereo, but right now, saving for college has to take priority.
Recent Examples on the Web The second priority is to bring economic growth to our community by providing more local and accessible businesses to District A. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 The immediate priority for Markaz is to build out the supply side; the company hoped to add as many as 300 suppliers to the platform over the next 12 months. David Prosser, Forbes, 16 May 2022 The priority for the first 24 hours is to try to go as fast as possible against Taipei, right? NBC News, 15 May 2022 To address this congestion, the commission said the most urgent priority is to ensure additional transport vehicles are available to get the grain to EU ports. Samuel Petrequin, ajc, 12 May 2022 Because the priority was on spending money fast to create jobs, officials feared large sums might be lost to graft or waste. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 12 May 2022 If waterproofing is a priority, look for Gore-tex membrane in the design as well as eVent in order to have breathability for vapors to be released while still keeping waterproof abilities. Lauren Breedlove, Travel + Leisure, 6 May 2022 Not surprisingly, the top priority was Thorne, followed by other celebrity clientele, then creators who pulled in top earnings on OnlyFans — anyone else was allegedly treated as an afterthought, these sources say. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 5 May 2022 The second most important factor for workers is flexible working hours, and the third priority is the ability to work remotely. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 2 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'priority.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of priority

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Time Traveler for priority

Time Traveler

The first known use of priority was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near priority



prior restraint

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Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Priority.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for priority


pri·​or·​i·​ty | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio) \
plural priorities

Kids Definition of priority

: a condition of being more important than other things


pri·​or·​i·​ty | \ prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē How to pronounce priority (audio) \
plural priorities

Legal Definition of priority

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: precedence in exercise of rights in the same subject matter secured interests have priority over unsecured ones



Legal Definition of priority (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having precedence over another in the exercise of rights in the same subject matter a priority creditor a priority claim
2 : of or relating to priority a priority contest

More from Merriam-Webster on priority

Nglish: Translation of priority for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of priority for Arabic Speakers


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